For something a little different than your usual mulled wine, why not flex your cocktail-mixing skills with our list of shake-to-make drinks this festive season? These cocktail recipes will see you through every Christmas party and New Year’s Eve celebration taking place this December.
Choose from ten different drinks, including a cosmo with a festive twist, an alcohol-free Negroni, and even a Christmas Pudding Martini, if you feel like drinking dessert. There’s classic cocktails like Espresso Martinis and Bloody Marys on offer too, if you prefer something a little more traditional at your holiday events.
There’s a Peppery Hot Chocolate that you can flavour with whisky if you fancy it, but it’s the peppercorns that give it that extra punch. Sip on this one while watching fireworks on 31st December or while spotting a local charity going door-to-door collecting donations alongside their very own Santa Claus.
For a cocktail that feels like it was named specially for the season, try a Snowball. The main ingredient in this recipe is advocaat – a rich Dutch alcohol made with brandy, plus eggs and sugar. The added lime juice and lemonade in our recipe adds some citrusy fizz to your drink.
Just like the Snowball, our Cherrybomb recipe is perfect for Christmas parties. This one pairs cherry with the festive flavours of almond and cinnamon. It’s easy to make, so you can whip up a glass for all of your guests in no time.
We’ve just scratched the surface of homemade Christmas cocktails. If none of these take your fancy, we’ve got Christmas gin-based cocktails, prosecco, and vodka. And it’s not Christmas without Baileys, so we’ve made a list of cocktails with that, too. There’s a line-up for the champagne lover, and a collection of non-alcoholic cocktails for those who prefer to skip the sauce. Ready to start mixing?
Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite drink has had a Christmas makeover, and it’s just as glam as the original. A Cosmopolitan is traditionally made with triple sec, vodka, cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime, but to make this one festive, we’ve switched the triple sec for a warming ginger wine. It’s finished with a slice of stem ginger and a twist of orange peel for a final Christmassy flourish. You can mix this cocktail in a jug before decanting it into cocktail glasses and adding the final touches, meaning you can sort drinks for several people at once. Convenient and delicious? Sign us up.
Christmas Pudding Martini
Martinis are a cocktail classic. Whether you prefer yours dry, dirty, or shaken, not stirred, there’s something effortlessly classy about this drink. There are loads of variations, from espresso to elderflower, but this recipe celebrates the festive season by creating an after-dinner treat you can drink. The mix of Grand Marnier and Frangelico with a whisky base blends to create a martini that tastes like a Christmas pudding. So, you can enjoy a festive treat without having to make it from scratch (especially if you forgot to make your pudding in advance to let the flavours deepen).
This drink fits in perfectly with the holiday season. With a few tweaks, we’ve given it a classically festive flavour. Ditch the rum and grenadine for something a bit more in-keeping with December festivities. The Disaronno gives the drink its almond taste, and this flavour is a major player on the stalls of Europe’s Christmas markets. To maximise the most-wonderful-time-of-the-year vibes, we’ve added a little extra garnish to this recipe. Add a cinnamon stick for a final festive kick – is it just us or does this drink taste like cookies? – and sip on this one at pre-Christmas parties.
Tom & Jerry
Is there anything more Christmassy than a warm drink on a cold evening? If you’re dreaming of sipping on an indulgent beverage under the fairy lights, a Tom & Jerry might be for you. You can even make it non-alcoholic by simply switching the booze for alcohol-free versions. This cocktail needs a bit more effort. You’ll whisk the egg whites with the orange blossom water and the egg yolks with the cognac, bourbon and elderflower liqueur before bringing them all together to make the base of your drink. Then, just garnish with festive flavours like nutmeg to finish.
This drink is a cocktail classic, so it’s worth having up your sleeve at festive parties for the coffee fans. Ideally, you’ll need a cocktail shaker for this recipe – it’s how you’ll achieve the lovely frothy top. As for ingredients, this cocktail is pretty simple, using vodka, a coffee liqueur (we used Kahlúa) and freshly made espresso, left to cool. Make a batch of coffee and you can keep the drinks going all night.
The Boulevardier is the winter sister of the summer-ready Negroni. Where a Negroni is lighter in colour and taste, refreshing and bitter, the Boulevardier is heavier, slower to enjoy and slightly darker in colour. It only takes one simple switch – bourbon replaces gin, and suddenly you have the perfect drink for dark evenings. Both drinks are garnished with a slice of orange. The citrus hit fits in well with the summer vibe of a Negroni, but works just as well in the Boulevardier as it’s a classic Christmas flavour. It’s another cocktail you can make in big batches and enjoy all evening.
Ultimate Bloody Mary
Looking for a drink with a kick? You’ve found it. A Bloody Mary pairs tomato juice with vodka and a whole host of flavours and spices to warm you up from the inside out. Yes, that is Worcestershire sauce in your cocktail. If it was good enough for Ernest Hemingway, it’s good enough for us. This recipe is courtesy of our friends over at MOB Kitchen. They’ve dialled up the spice with some extra additions to the classic bloody mary recipe, including a pickled chilli garnish. You know what they say – if you can’t stand the heat, stay off the bloody marys.
We can’t promise snow at Christmas, but we can give you the next best thing. A Snowball is a pale, custardy colour, which is close enough to the white stuff for our festive parties. The advocaat gives it a light colour, and the frothy white foam on top of the drink gives it its name. How to achieve that perfect snowball finish? It’s all about how you pour the lemonade. Keep it at a consistent speed while gently stirring your drink and voilà. The lime and cherry garnish on top lifts the drink to make it perfect for a celebration.
Peppery Hot Chocolate
This hot chocolate is not like the others. It was created by Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, a bartender who opened his own bar in 2013. It was such a hit that it was crowned the best new international bar in the world just a year later. So, this boozy sweet treat is sure to impress. The recipe uses milk alternatives to make it dairy-free, plus vegan chocolate. But that doesn’t stop it from being indulgent and creamy – and totally delicious, thanks to the shot of whisky. You can leave this out to make it suitable for kids.
Need something for the non-drinkers at your party? Mix up a glass or two of this alcohol-free Italian classic. The alcoholic version is said to have been created by a Frenchman, General Negroni, in Italy. He was looking for a stronger version of an Americano (the cocktail, not the coffee), and switched the soda water for gin and the lemon slice for orange. This teetotal alternative recipe substitutes the usual mix of gin, vermouth and Campari for ingredients with a touch of spice for the festive season. The Seedlip spice 94 brings a blend of Allspice berries and cardamom while the Aecorn aromatic and bitters bring notes of citrus and oak.
Ready to make something exciting? If you’re looking for cocktail inspiration for your favourite tipple, take a look at our Christmas-themed gin, vodka, prosecco, Baileys and champagne cocktails recipes. We’ve also got a collection of Christmas mocktail recipes for alcohol-free party options. And, if you’ve picked your cocktail and want to add the ingredients you need to your trolley, head to our Christmas drinks aisle.